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Why the notion of The Queen abdicating is ridiculous

This year, the Emperor of Japan has declared his wish to abdicate. Inevitably, this has led to great discussion in the United Kingdom over whether or not Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II could stand down also. Not only is this suggestion inherently incorrect, it is also deeply offensive and disrespectful to a diligent monarch who has steadfastly served her realms without complaint.

First, let us look at why The Queen will never abdicate, before we move on to why it is so wrong to even suggest it:

On the 2nd of June 1953, Elizabeth Windsor sat before the Archbishop of Canterbury, about to make the largest commitment the world has to offer.

“Madam, is your Majesty willing to take the Oath?” the archbishop said. By replying “I am willing”, the young royal was made ready to take the oath which would govern the rest of her life.

“Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the Peoples of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Union of South Africa, Pakistan, and Ceylon, and of your Possessions and the other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?” – This is the first part of the Coronation Oath. In this, the then Princess Elizabeth took responsibility for the governance of the peoples in all her realms and territories.

In the next part of the Oath, she would swear to “cause Law and Justice, in Mercy, to be executed in all your (her) judgements.”

The final part of the Oath, however, is the most significant:

“Will you to the utmost of your power maintain the Laws of God and the true profession of the Gospel? Will you to the utmost of your power maintain in the United Kingdom the Protestant Reformed Religion established by law? Will you maintain and preserve inviolably the settlement of the Church of England, and the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government thereof, as by law established in England? And will you preserve unto the Bishops and Clergy of England, and to the Churches there committed to their charge, all such rights and privileges, as by law do or shall appertain to them or any of them?”

Of course, The Queen answered that she would do so, and became arguably the most powerful person on the planet.

The Oath was made in a religious ceremony before God. The Queen made a commitment, not only to her people, but to God. By her Christian creed she is bound to govern her dominions with faith, fairness and solemnity. To abdicate would be to violate her oath before God. This is why The Queen cannot and will not abdicate.

It can also be considered disrespectful to speculate that Her Majesty may abdicate.

The Queen is a devout Christian, and the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. She believes that the Coronation Oath is a religiously binding promise to God. To question this is to call into doubt her fundamental beliefs. It is deeply offensive to one of Britain’s most dutiful and beloved monarchs, who has given her life to the maintenance of monarchy and good governance.

Can we all stop this offensive gossip, please?

Do you agree with our blogger, Ben Knights? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below

  • Maureen Brindle

    God save the Queen

  • Gerry

    God save the Queen. She has a sense of DUTY that will never fail her subjects.

    • luigi pasquali

      Her subjects must bow and scrape at her feet. She’s gotten used to it, loves it and will never give it up.

      • Let’s show a little respect!!!!!

      • Robert King

        what century are you living in???

        • luigi pasquali

          Same as you Mr. Robert, the only difference is I don’t bow and grovel to anyone.

          • Elizabeth Pease

            You would have to bow if you lived in Britain.

          • Robert King

            I think you have a medieval view of the monarchy. No one has ‘groveled’ for at least a century. Bowing is simply a show of respect for the office just like Americans bow to their President.

      • Howard T

        You are wrong. We do not bow and scrape to HM, that is optional in this day and age, but many bow or curtsy as a sign of respect to our much loved monarch who has served the nation unstintingly both as princess and queen all her long life.

  • Pbanning9

    I’m not a British citizen but sometimes for health reasons I would understand her abdicating. From what I’ve read about other monarchs they want to be part of the coronation and watch and be available should counsel be needed. I don’t think it’s disrespectful one bit. Her Majesty has served her people and God flawlessly. It would be nice for her to enjoy time with her husband, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

    In the United States under our Constitution, church and state are separate and two can never cross.

  • Howard T

    Her Majesty will never abdicate and will be succeeded in time by Prince Charles as the heir apparent as royal protocol dictates. Suggestions to the contrary by foreign busybodies who know nothing about this ancient and established practise are both ill-informed and insulting. In the same way, Prince William will not succeed until King Charles has passed away.

    • James

      This man is right on. I was born in the United States but my family come from England. Most foreign people know nothing about the British Monarchy. I have followed the Royal family for as long as I can remember and have researched what I could find on the subject.

      • Same here James, mine came from England, I have followed the family, and I totally respect and love them. Just because we are American doesn’t mean we can’t, after all England is Mother, and this is were GE got our greatness from, the very greatness of the English race no matter where in the Kingdom they live are superb.

    • Elizabeth Pease

      What will happen to William if Charles dies before he becomes King?

      • Howard T

        In the unlikely event of Prince Charles predeceasing his mother the Queen, Prince William would automatically become heir apparent and on the Queens death he would become King.

      • Scott White

        Prince William will on either the death of The Prince of Wales or The Queen which ever comes first, become The Duke of Cornwall and Cambridge. He will not automatically become The Prince of Wales as that is a title that is given at the pleasure of the Sovereign, and it can be a period of time before that happens. The perfect example of this, is when King Edward VII ascended to the throne. King George V did not automatically become The Prince of Wales as King Edward VII felt that there would be confusion as who that would be as he (Edward VII) was Prince of Wales for so long. From the death of Queen Victoria in January 1901 til November of that year King George V was the Duke of Cornwall and York. I would wonder if the same will happen when Prince Charles ascends to the throne as he has been Prince of Wales most of his life.

        • Elizabeth Pease

          Scott White: George V had an older brother, ‘Eddie'( real name Albert Victor Christian Edward), and he was known as the Duke of Clarence. I don’t know if he would have been named Prince of Wales, either. Prince Charles was named Prince of Wales when he was 10 by his mother.

  • Helmut Georg Binder

    Es ist gut, dass endlich einer einmal darauf hinweist, dass Ihre Majestät die Königin einen Eid vor Gott geschworen hat, den man nicht so einfach bricht.

    It is a good thing that someone once pointed out that Her Majesty the Queen swore an oath before God, which is not easy to break.

  • Anastasia Beaverhausen

    I’m sure the Japanese Emperor took some sort of similar oath when he ascended the throne. Times change. A decade ago, no one thought it was possible for a Pope to abdicate, but it happened and the earth didn’t stop rotating. Next year an Emperor of Japan will most likely abdicate. I’m not saying QEII will abdicate, but please don’t insult us with breathless prose about oaths before “God” and all that sort of nonsense. Edward VIII abdicated, and the next monarch may as well when he forces the matter of his mistress/second wife being crowned “Queen”.

    • Edward Power

      I don’t believe in you, “Anastasia Beaverhausen”.

    • Clive

      Edward VIII was never crowned. No other British monarch has abdicated. A monarch only takes his place upon acclamation AND crowning- Edward VIII strictly was never King, but the House of Windsor chooses to include him; if it was otherwise then difficulties would arise on the claims of the House of Stewart. The Emperor of Japan is a constitutional creature subject to a WWII American drafted constitution. In the UK, The Queen is the constitution.

      • Elizabeth Pease

        Edward VIII was King from the moment his father died in January 1936 until he gave his throne up to marry the ‘woman he loved’ in December of the same year. 1936 was the year Britain had 3 Kings.

        • Robert King

          Edward VIII was NOT the King as soon as his father died. One cannot become King/Queen until ordained and crowned as such by the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury on behalf of the people and God. This tradition goes back 100’s of years to the time of Henry VIII. Edward was never crowned not ordained by the Arch-Bishop and when asked if he would take the Royal Oath simply stated he would not. This is technically called “abdicating” the throne. In other words, he never had the throne to begin with, he did not want the responsibility. He knew his first love could never be his duties, his people and his country, only his woman.

          • BenjaminKlarmann

            Dear Robert, I am afraid that you are woefully incorrect in the information you have stated above. The throne cannot be vacant. The moment a monarch draws their terminal breath and ceases to exist, the heir apparent in that moment automatically becomes the sovereign, “The King is dead! Long live the King/Queen” with or without their actually knowing it (I cite the example of Her Majesty’s accession, that being that she was Queen the moment of her father George VI death but was not aware of this for several hours until news reached Kenya). Ordination and Oath taking is merely the formal and final act of the formal process of accession, which culminates in the Coronation Ceremony. Edward VIII was indeed the King/Emperor the moment his father George V died, he was acclaimed as such by state heralds the length and breadth of the Kingdom. The only difference being that he was not crowned at his scheduled coronation. Therefore, his abdication was technically an easier thing to accomplish as it saved him from having to break his oath. This for him, was a matter of good timing and one of the minor contributing factors as to why he abdicated when he did. Had he been crowned, I’m sure that it would have been a much more complex thing to accomplish legally. Regarding our current monarch, Her Majesty, so we are reliably informed by those who closest to the throne is a deeply religious person and someone who has a profound sense of duty both in a temporal and spiritual manner. She is aware, that the traditions of this country are that the monarch, only gives up their duties at the moment of their death.

          • Robert King

            Ok, I surrender lol. I was wro…wro…wro….incorrect. Thanks for setting the record straight.

          • Elizabeth Pease

            Is that right? Well, then, tell me why after George immediately passed, did his wife take the hand of her eldest son, kiss it and say: ‘Long live the King’? Also, why was Princess Elizabeth referred to as Queen when she got off the returning plane from Kenya she was on a day after George VI had passed?

          • Charles Switzer

            Elizabeth, I’m not sure exactly what you are referencing, it isn’t clear. Queen Elizabeth had no sons, only two daughters –the eldest of which became the new Sovereign upon her husband’s death. She was referred to as Queen…because she was the new Queen of Great Britain and had become so the moment her father stopped breathing.

          • Elizabeth Pease

            I was not referring to George VI’s consort, ‘Queen Elizabeth’. I meant that when Princess Elizabeth came back from Kenya where she had gone to represent her father, she wasn’t Princess any more. As the elder of George VI’s two daughters, she was heiress presumptive after ‘Uncle David’ abdicated, so she was Queen Elizabeth and her mother became Queen Elizabeth, the Queen mother, even though Elizabeth 2’s Coronation was not until the following June 1953.

          • Charles Switzer

            Elizabeth, now I see what you were referring to. I think alot of people get confused with the British monarchy and it’s customs. Succession being automatic and all. I tried explaining this to a friend once and she just couldn’t comprehend why the new monarch was king or queen before being crowned.

          • Elizabeth Pease

            I don’t know why people would have trouble not knowing that the child who is the first born would be called the next monarch in certain countries. But, in places like Norway, Belgium and Sweden, even though the first born heirs for the next generation are all female, people should still realize those three countries will have Queens one day. They are Crown Princess Victoria, Princess of Asturias(Spain), Princess in Norway, until her father becomes King, then she will be Crown Princess Ingrid, and Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant, and Crown Princess of Belgium since her grandfather abdicated. It’s like a previous poster said: ‘Thrones can’t be vacant’ and a Coronation is the official ceremony where the heir/heiress gets their official title, even though they’ve already been KIng or Queen for a while.

    • Moira O’Donnell

      Ah yes Edward viii abdicated, but he never went through the Coronation Ceremony, therefore DID NOT take the OATH

  • Cathy Anderson

    I firmly agree with the author. It is heartening to see that someone, in this day of ‘throw away’culture, stands up for what she believes in and to the commitments she has made. God save the Queen!

  • Jesse Dootson

    Any such speak is treason.
    Long live the Queen!

  • luigi pasquali

    “Offensive gossip” ? Balderdash. She is 90 years old. Kings have abdicated. It’s been done before. Why would anyone deny her that right?

  • MARY

    I agree with the author, she will never abdicate. God save and bless Queen Elizabeth II. More power to her.

  • Of course he is absolutely correct. And why in heavens name, because the Emperor of Japan decides to abdicate his throne anyone had to say Her Majesty had to? Or even think of it. The Monarchy of England is a constant it is England herself!!! There are those that are subjects that I see constant disparaging remarks about the throne, even Americans, this I can see from Americans, they just don’t know. A large part of Americans do however, respect the Queen, and others of the household. But the British subjects should at least have some because she is their Queen, and to my knowledge, hasn’t done, anything to warrant such feelings, as say other political personnel. I am an American, but yes, I will say I am related to her by blood. We have the same ancestors, so I will defend and her with my all. I don’t day this to brag but that you know I agree with our blogger, it would be insulting and unwarranted for her to abdicate. Her being on the throne represents centuries of reigning Monarchs, for good or bad, but one fact remains, the Monarchy is the very soul of England, the very sum of stability, honour, and grace!!!! My God bless Her Majesty, and all that dwell in the Kingdom!!! Long live the Queen!!!!

    • Vivra Beene

      Rick Nuttall, I couldn’t have said it better myself! I am a True Brit living in Texas, and yes, you’re right, Americans just don’t get it, and neither, unfortunately, do many young people in Britain.

  • Adeoye Olabisi Ayodele

    There is no discussion she has taken so God help her to keep it end of discussion.

  • ilaifire

    I see nothing offensive in suggesting that she can abdicate. In the occasion that she did abdicate, I don’t believe it would be an easy decision for her, and it would probably be because for one reason or another (most likely health related) she believed she was no longer able to carry out her oath. Tragic, yes, offensive, no.

  • Charles Switzer

    The Queen will never abdicate. All you have to do is look at the history of the monarchy in Britain. Sovereigns reign until death, that’s just how it is done in the UK. Richard II abdicated only because he was deposed. Edward VIII as we all stepped down to be with the woman he loved. Even he had the good sense to go before he took the coronation oath. In 1947, Elizabeth declared her entire life to duty. She will not abdicate, there is no need for it. If she became too infirm, a regency would be enacted under Prince Charles. The very notion of abdication is silly. What is the point of a hereditary monarch if they decide to hand over power. It diminishes the entire point. Elizabeth II will reign until death.

    • Elizabeth Pease

      Charles 1 was beheaded by his subjects, wasn’t he?

      • Charles Switzer

        Elizabeth, Charles I was indeed executed by his subjects. Thus ending the English Civil War.

        • Elizabeth Pease

          In that case then, Charles Switzer, it appears King Charles 1st didn’t have a good relationship with his subjects like the Royal Family of today.

  • Sam Martin

    I truly believe HM will never abdicate her throne. It’s tradition in UK for the monarch to reign until death. I wish our Queen many more long and happy an happy years to reign over us.

  • Phyllis Robinson

    The Queen has done a fabulous job with her people and the countries she governs, the places she visits as she represents England. I am American, and I have the most respect for Her Majesty the Queen, to think she would give up her role as Queen, and that vow she made when she was 21 years , she made that vow to God and her the people she serves as Queen. Long may Queen Elizabeth Reign!!!

    • Phyllis Robinson

      The Queen would not give up her role as Queen. ( Made an error)

  • Jeffrey Minnicks

    So true. Long live the Queen!!

  • Kenneth Hammer

    While I doubt that the Queen would ever abdicate, it’s worth noting that when Edward VIII abdicated, each Dominion or country (I can’t remember which) all had to draft and pass legislation to formally approve of the abdication*, and it only applied to Edward VIII, not any future monarch. Therefore, if any future monarch wanted to abdicate, they would all have to pass fresh legislation to allow it.

    *- Actually, there is a story that for some reason, Canada had to pass the legislation the next day, so for basically 24 hours, Edward VIII was King of Canada, while George VI was King of the rest of the British Empire.

  • Tom Edwards


    I feel it is distasteful and presumptuous to bring The Queen’s personal religious beliefs into the matter. Furthermore, there is no mention of perpetuity in the coronation oath — neither in the religious portion of it nor in the secular portion of it.

    Forgive the somewhat frivolous idiom, but the author is, as they say, “barking up the wrong tree.”

    Even so, his core assertion is correct: Barring some sort of serious ailment or other impairment to carrying out the duties of the crown, Queen Elizabeth II will not abdicate.

    Her Majesty went on record on her 21st birthday in 1947, prior to her accession to the throne, with the following public affirmation:

    “”I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service and the service of our great imperial family to which we all belong.””

    That was a straightforward promise from a fine woman who deeply loves her country and her subjects, and whose word is good as gold. It was a life-time contract in which she included absolutely no cancellation clause.

    Our British friends are fortunate indeed.


  • PennieP

    So, she’s kind of like THE POPE of the United Kingdom?

  • Stela

    God save the Queen all life!

  • scott

    i don’t find them offensive but I get tired of the discussion; its NOT going to happen folks!
    Quit wasting your breath and my time seeing it pop up in my different newsfeeds.

  • starlightshimmers

    In Japan it is historically normal for the emperor to abdicate because his primary and original role is the head of the Shinto religion and to perform religious rituals. The emperor renounced his divinity after WWII but he is still the head of the Shinto religion. In his old age he can no longer perform the necessary rituals as head priest therefore he has to abdicate.

  • Lynn

    Why would Her Majesty abdicate?

    It is her rightful place. She has been devoted to Her country and subjects for many many years.

    It will be a sad sad day for all when we no longer say, “God save the Queen”.

  • Zeno_of_Citium

    There has been nothing offensive with the monarchs of the Netherlands (repeatedly) and Spain abdicating recently. In fact it is wiser for a King/Queen to abdicate before their invevitably poor health due to old age starts interfering with their duties. We wish Her Majesty longevity, but this does not mean she has no right to abdicate if she feels that “the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”.

  • Kathleen Ames

    HM will never abdicate. When she was 21 she gave a vow that she would do her duty all of her life ‘whether that be long or short’. She renewed that vow during her Coronation Oath. Abdication is for European Royals not for the British,

  • Jackie Romagnano

    I agree with the author as her sense of duty and love of country define her very core…for me, personally, i find all of this talk of her abdicating and what happen when she passes completely and thoroughly upsetting…it is very hard to imagine a world in which Queen Elizabeth is not present, so can we just continue to enjoy, respect and support her while we still have her and be thankful that we still do and pray we will for a long time to come

  • Mona-Ellen Cheney

    I cannot imagine she might abdicate. She took an oath to perform her duties as Queen and I would expect her to do so, so long as she is able.

  • joann

    Is it possible for the Queen to make Prince William king and skip Prince Charles if she should decide to advocate.?

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